Club will travel to national convention in June –
By Patricia Beech –
North Adams High School student Adison Wright was elected state Beta Club President at the organization’s convention last week in Columbus.
“She definitely made history,” said NAHS principal Matt Young. “She and all the Beta Club members did an excellent job at the convention, and we’re all very proud of them.”
Wright beat out 10 other candidates to win the presidency in a campaign that drew praise from North Adams Beta adviser, Kelly Boerger.
“She is an outstanding student and an exceptional Beta member – our entire club has been re-energized by her campaign and by working for her,” said Boerger. “She is a unifying force.”
North Adams sent 70 Beta Club members to the state convention, and placed in 16 different categories with 49 members involved in those categories, Boerger said.
The convention was held March 22-24 at the Greater Columbus Convention Center.
A junior – who is also a National Honor Society member and the Teen Board member for the Adams County for a Tobacco-Free Environment campaign – Wright believes that her determination to make good grades and serve others is what made her a perfect candidate for Beta Club.
“The motto of the Beta Club is using our Leadership and character to serve others, and I think that’s exactly what Beta does,” Wright says. “It gives students the opportunity to become active in their communities, to strive to be better people outside of school while realizing that your academic performance is a huge part of developing your character and work ethic.”
In addition to her academic and civic work, Wright spends several hours a week planning and participating in Beta Club activities, including logging in 50 hours of community service work, twice the amount Beta members are required to do.
She says all her hard work paid off when she was named State President.
“I’m really grateful for the opportunity to serve as State President, it’s definitely my most memorable Beta experience,” she says. “There hasn’t ever been a candidate from North Adams to win this privilege, and I wanted to show people in our community, and the kids in my school that being from a small community doesn’t keep us from making a difference.”
To qualify for the presidency Wright was required to give a two-minute campaign speech during the convention, participate in a one-minute skit, and campaign on issues that matter to her.
She also had to answer an impromptu question pulled from a hat in front of the judges, who then chose the winner.
Wright says she is looking forward to serving as President and is eager to see what opportunities lie ahead.
Her duties as president include participating in the planning of next year’s state convention, presiding over meetings in the general session, and preparing new upcoming candidates.
Wright says she realizes her term as President will pay dividends down the road, especially during her collegiate years.
“It’s such a great learning experience for me,” she says. “If I go into marketing, I’m obviously going to need public relations skills and I’ll be doing a lot of public speaking, so serving as President will get me out there and give me the opportunity to practice for my future.”
She credits her parents for helping her develop the leadership skills that have guided her through unfamiliar experiences.
“My Dad has always told me not to be afraid of being a leader,” she says. “He’d say that if you start down a path and no one follows, that’s not necessarily a bad thing, you’re just taking a walk on your own”.
Beta Club has required Wright to step outside her comfort zone on multiple occasion. She admits to being “super nervous” before speaking at the convention, but says her anxiety faded once she took the stage.
“The second I got up on the stage I saw that the audience was filled with kids just like me, so it was easy just to talk to them – I wasn’t nervous, and it was really easy for me to give my speech,” she said. “As I’ve gotten older I realize it’s not as scary as everyone thinks.”
With her victory, she now has an opportunity to campaign for the national President’s seat. She and 42 of her fellow Beta members will travel to the National Beta Convention in Disney World at the end of June .
After graduating high school, Wright plans to earn a degree in Marketing at the Wright State University Business College, with a minor in Spanish.
The National Beta Club is a youth organization that is based on forming role models through achievement, character, leadership, and service. Formed in 1934, it has helped nearly seven million fourth-grade through 12th-grade students develop into productive community members. Since 1991, the club has awarded more than $5 million in scholarships to elementary and secondary school students.
Students involved in Beta Club are required to maintain a certain grade point average and a behavioral record that reflects the morals of the club. They are also required to perform at least 25 hours of community service each year.
West Union High School’s Jack Crask was also eleted to a state Beta office at the recent state convention. Look for a story on Crask in a future edition of The People’s Defender.